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Is practicing with .22lr making me a worse shot? Login/Join 
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I've been doing goal oriented range sessions lately, mostly around the dot torture and 5x5 drills.

At 3 yards for dot torture, my average scores are:

Sig P226 9mm: 35/50 over 3 targets
Sig P226 .22lr: 45/50 over 3 targets
Glock 20 .40S&W: 34/50 over 3 targets
Glock 20 .22lr: 45/50 over 6 targets

I know those scores are a bit embarrassing. What I'm wondering is; am I too used to shooting .22lr if my scores are that much better? I originally got the conversion kits to help with my shooting and lower the cost but now I'm wondering if it's been a crutch. Is this just normal and most people would shoot better with a .22lr or maybe am I having flinch issues? I was going to put my gun budget money towards firearm upgrades and stuff but now I'm wondering if I should just focus on ammo and some training. I will say the .22lr has really taught me how to clear jams well.

What do you all think? Any advice?
 
Posts: 1188 | Registered: January 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My school of thought:
Any shot fired is good training, regardless of caliber. Just make sure your actions and fundamentals are same with each caliber. The main difference I see with .22LR is faster recovery between shots.


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Posts: 9662 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I doubt it. It's possible the .22 LR conversion units are not as accurate as the native center fires. It's also possible, if the sights are different from the center fire uppers, that might be part of your "problem" as well. Or it could be the combo.

I've used center fire 1911 and P226 .22 LR conversion uppers for decades. Primarily for defensive shooting practice. Was never concerned about extreme accuracy.

Interesting question, but I wouldn't be too concerned about it.


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Posts: 4308 | Location: Northeast | Registered: June 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For shot placement, the caliber shouldn't matter. The only difference is the recoil, and the only place this would make any difference is time between shots.
 
Posts: 23049 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For Dot Torture at 3 Yards your scores should be 50/50 if you are not adding some other variable. If that's true at this point your issue is basic fundamentals. Sure caliber may matter a little since the conversions are lighter and weak hand that helps (at least for me it does).
I'd just pick one gun/caliber and work on it till you can 'pass' and not worry a hoot about caliber.


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Posts: 8165 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm actually considering going .22 to get MORE out of my practice sessions. If you are focusing on the process that it takes to do the individual functions, caliber does not matter a bit.




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Posts: 33409 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I'm actually considering going .22 to get MORE out of my practice sessions. If you are focusing on the process that it takes to do the individual functions, caliber does not matter a bit

^^^^^^^^^^
Glad to hear this from someone who knows. I have lots of 22lr and the conversion slides as well.
 
Posts: 7096 | Location: MS GULF COAST | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Military training rifles in .22,
Kimber 82
H&R model 12
Winchester 52
Remington 40x


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Posts: 810 | Location: Flatlander in the mountains | Registered: August 27, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’m a fan of .22 training whe it comes to precision rifle shooting, but not for handgun training. One shot at a time it works, but when you start shooting fast, the light recoil of the .22 ruins me. Then I go to shoot my 9mm and the recoil feels monstrous and I find myself flinching.

If it doesn’t cause you to flinch with your bigger calibers, then I think it’s a great idea, but it doesn’t work for me. I actually like to go the other way. I practice with .45 a lot, so when I pick up 9mm, it feels like a kitten. Kind of like a batter swinging a weighted bat in the on deck circle for me, YMMV.


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Posts: 7115 | Location: Toledo, Ohio | Registered: April 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jljones:
I'm actually considering going .22 to get MORE out of my practice sessions. If you are focusing on the process that it takes to do the individual functions, caliber does not matter a bit.


I agree, .22 is a great round to practice trigger control etc. But I always bring a .22 to each range session, start with .22, but then go back to .22 in between centerfire handgun calibers as a way to take a break so to speak...…….. I can guarantee you that I am no Jljones when it comes to shooting/accuracy...….but better than most I see at my local range.
 
Posts: 18644 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It’s obviously undeniable that the recoil component and even the muzzle blast of different cartridges and loads can make a difference in how we shoot and how we adjust to those differences. That’s especially true when firing multiple shots at speed, but it’s also apparent when shooting slowly as well, albeit to a lesser degree.

There are countless examples and demonstrations of that fact. For decades when shooting sports like bull’s-eye or PPC were popular and before the concept of “power factor” was considered important, shooters commonly used extremely light loads in their revolvers and 1911s. Part of that was to reduce stress and fatigue, but much more important was the lessened effect of recoil on recovering from the shot and reengaging the target.

When shooting something like an airsoft pistol or even a 22 LR S&W model 41, I can adjust my aim and the points of impact of my shots very precisely and almost like a hose because of the very light recoil. An extreme example of that is “shooting” something with a laser pointer that has no recoil at all; even without sights I can adjust the POI onto a distant target very quickly.

Other examples come from the history of law enforcement handgun issuance and training. One oft-repeated story was how at one time it was common for agencies that mandated the 357 S&W Magnum cartridge for duty carry permitted using 38 Special wadcutter target loads for training and qualifications. Near the end of the revolver era when the importance of realistic training became more recognized and use of duty loads was mandated, qualification scores with the more powerful ammunition plummeted. Another example is how many military and quasi-military organizations have experimented over the years of low-powered (usually 22 LR) versions of their duty weapons. Inevitably, however, such experiments have been limited and ultimately it’s been recognized that people need to train and practice with the real deal.

I saw some of that myself when training a few of the women of my agency. At one time all personnel were required to carry the SIG P220. Although it was possible to train everyone up to an acceptable level shooting the 45 ACP round, when a later agency head permitted issuing some personnel P226 pistols chambered for 9mm, they did significantly better.

Will shooting a light-recoiling gun make someone a worse shooter? Not necessarily, but it won’t impart all the training necessary to shoot a powerful cartridge as well as shooting the guns we’re trying to ultimately become proficient with. I carry guns chambered for 357 SIG and therefore I don’t use wimpy 9mm ammunition exclusively in training despite the fact that it’s less expensive and more pleasant to shoot. When shooting precision rifles, the lighter the recoil of the cartridge, the sloppier I can be with my techniques and still achieve acceptable (to me) accuracy.

As a final point, I believe that some shooters with the talent, training, and especially the practice with different guns may get to the point that they shoot all handguns about the same, and extremely well. If, however, they come to assume that therefore there is no actual difference in how various guns and cartridges affect other shooters’ performance, that can only be because they simply don’t understand, or accept, that we’re not all the same.




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Posts: 40991 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's really good stuff. I just recently started shooting consistently again, about weekly, after barely shooting for 4 years.

I'm kinda hoping the cause of the difference in my shooting scores is due a tennis elbow issue I'm having where my weak hand is actually pretty weak right now and I'm having trouble applying a lot of pressure with it, but I don't want to blame that.

If that's not a factor, what would be the method for closing the gap between centerfire and rimfire scores? I recently did have some instruction where they tweaked my grip and stance and I've been sticking to that.
 
Posts: 1188 | Registered: January 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by esdunbar:
I’m a fan of .22 training whe it comes to precision rifle shooting, but not for handgun training. One shot at a time it works, but when you start shooting fast, the light recoil of the .22 ruins me. Then I go to shoot my 9mm and the recoil feels monstrous and I find myself flinching.

If it doesn’t cause you to flinch with your bigger calibers, then I think it’s a great idea, but it doesn’t work for me. I actually like to go the other way. I practice with .45 a lot, so when I pick up 9mm, it feels like a kitten. Kind of like a batter swinging a weighted bat in the on deck circle for me, YMMV.


I like this idea!
 
Posts: 1188 | Registered: January 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To hopefully clarify and summarize my opinions on the matter, it’s not that I believe shooting a low-powered cartridge will make anyone a worse shot. On the contrary, shooting any gun with emphasis on doing things correctly will improve our overall ability. As the NRA points out, even shooting a handgun will help with some aspects of shooting a rifle or shotgun.

My point is that a low-powered gun does not give us experience and training to deal with the things that are different about shooting a higher power cartridge with more recoil and muzzle blast. Driving around a large deserted parking lot at low speed will teach us many important things about operating a car, but sooner or later we must get out onto the highway and learn its lessons if we’re going to travel across the country.

Or as another example, if I gave up shooting firearms for a time and used only an air rifle, would my skills with firearms be worse if I started shooting them again after a year since the break? Probably, but it wouldn’t be because I’d been shooting an airgun; it would be because I hadn’t been shooting firearms. Shooting an airgun might have helped maintain some skills necessary for good performance with firearms, but not all, and the ones not maintained would atrophy and decline with nonuse.




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Posts: 40991 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
To hopefully clarify and summarize my opinions on the matter, it’s not that I believe shooting a low-powered cartridge will make anyone a worse shot. On the contrary, shooting any gun with emphasis on doing things correctly will improve our overall ability. As the NRA points out, even shooting a handgun will help with some aspects of shooting a rifle or shotgun.

My point is that a low-powered gun does not give us experience and training to deal with the things that are different about shooting a higher power cartridge with more recoil and muzzle blast. Driving around a large deserted parking lot at low speed will teach us many important things about operating a car, but sooner or later we must get out onto the highway and learn its lessons if we’re going to travel across the country.

Or as another example, if I gave up shooting firearms for a time and used only an air rifle, would my skills with firearms be worse if I started shooting them again after a year since the break? Probably, but it wouldn’t be because I’d been shooting an airgun; it would be because I hadn’t been shooting firearms. Shooting an airgun might have helped maintain some skills necessary for good performance with firearms, but not all, and the ones not maintained would atrophy and decline with nonuse.


I believe practicing with a .22 pistol in conjunction with a larger caliber pistol leads to better practice. .22 is terrific for practicing trigger control and breathing......which also transfers to better shooting with a larger caliber gun.
 
Posts: 18644 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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dot torture is fundamentally an accuracy drill to work on trigger control and sight alignment. there is no time pressure to it. and its at 3 yards in this case. recoil and muzzle blast aren't really part of it as you can just wait them out and get back on target when you get back on target. Now if you are trying to force yourself to go fast, then it matters, but initially all you are trying to do is hit the target. And in this case the OP is using conversion slides so the triggers are the same. I don't see the caliber to matter in this case other than its obvious the OP does something different when shooting cf cartridges.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 8165 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shooters’ anticipating recoil or nervousness due to a cartridge’s recoil and muzzle blast and therefore shooting less accurately is as common as a Democrat’s crying “Racism!” when having no other argument.

If that were not true, why have generations of firearms instructors been advised to start new shooters out with .22 rimfire guns?




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Posts: 40991 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Other examples come from the history of law enforcement handgun issuance and training. One oft-repeated story was how at one time it was common for agencies that mandated the 357 S&W Magnum cartridge for duty carry permitted using 38 Special wadcutter target loads for training and qualifications. Near the end of the revolver era when the importance of realistic training became more recognized and use of duty loads was mandated, qualification scores with the more powerful ammunition plummeted. Another example is how many military and quasi-military organizations have experimented over the years of low-powered (usually 22 LR) versions of their duty weapons. Inevitably, however, such experiments have been limited and ultimately it’s been recognized that people need to train and practice with the real deal.


Hell, the military went one better with the MILES system. Blanks and lasers. And no, shooting 22 doesn't make you a worse shot. 22 never lies in there is no real recoil to recover from, so you can concentrate on trigger reset and other actions. It's when you pick up a centerfire caiber you introduce forces that have to be taken into consideration like increased recoil.


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Posts: 6470 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It’s an interesting question. In my experience .22lr ammunition varies in quality and accuracy so I would be more concerned about how accurate you are with you centerfire pistol vs. the .22LR unless you can’t hit your target with either pistol.

There are a couple of other factors too. I have an old P220 caliber conversion kit in .22lr and a Walther PPQ 22. What I have found is that, obviously, the recoil is different which can throw off your follow up shots when moving from .22LR to centerfire. In addition, my PPQ M2 has a longer reset than my PPQ 22. Based upon my findings, I always try to shoot a magazine or two with the PPQ M2 in 9mm or the P220 in 45 ACP before I leave the range so my muscle memory and reflexes are consistent. Outside of that, I think they are great training tools. FWIW, I tend to shoot more and stay longer as the ammunition is so much cheaper.

If you are interested, I would also look at the VirTra V-300. https://www.virtra.com/v-300/
I train on the VirTra V-300 a couple of times a year and while I wouldn’t substitute it for general trigger time, it sure adds a whole new element of training that I find to be valuable.


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Posts: 10867 | Registered: October 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by BB61:
It’s an interesting question. In my experience .22lr ammunition varies in quality and accuracy so I would be more concerned about how accurate you are with you centerfire pistol vs. the .22LR.


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